Task Force Objective and Purpose
Task Force’s Role in Advancing Racial Equity in Louisville
While Black residents comprise approximately 22.4% of Louisville Metro's population, they only own 2.4% of its businesses. Black poverty rates are nearly three times that of white poverty rates. Black college graduates earn approximately $10,000 less per annum than white college graduates. 73% of white residents own their own homes while only 36% of black residents own theirs.1
In its efforts, the Task Force will identify new as well as revise existing programs supporting existing Black-owned and Diverse-owned businesses. The Task Force will further work to ensure that non-discrimination, equity, and equal opportunity are safeguarded, promoted and reflected in Louisville Metro's workplaces as well as in their decisions affecting hiring, programs, activities, services, developments and/or capital projects.
There are documented disparities in Black wealth, and Black business-ownership within this country and in our city of Louisville. The disparities stem from historic discriminatory barriers, non-discriminatory barriers and barriers related to network access. The barriers include, but are not limited to: (1) exclusion from formal and informal networks that facilitate access to public and private contracting opportunities; (2) agencies and prime contractors employing capability stereotypes; (3) double or higher standards in performance; (4) preventing access to financial and other business opportunities; (5) manipulating bid processes premised on prejudicial factors unrelated to business performance; (6) systemic discrimination related to key market-based issues; (7) actions that negatively impact all businesses regardless of race or ethnicity, including large project sizes, bid qualifications, and timely payment.
The disparities in Black wealth are also caused by the barriers to employment and job security. It is common for Black people to have difficulty in finding and keeping employment, even when adjusted for educational attainment. In Louisville, 18% of Black people with a high school diploma are unemployed compared with 6% of white people.2 These barriers have foundations in the cycle of poverty and access to education. Other barriers to employment include (1) lack of access to jobs with a livable wage; (2) not enough second-chance employers, employers that hire individuals with a criminal history; (3) hiring, salary, and retention policies for a workforce that mirrors the community; and (4) improved workforce readiness programs.
Refer to this document for a summary of the information collected from Task Force Member Organizations.